Medical Updates

March 25 – Started Velcade treatments in Texas in January. I get an infusion every other week on Mondays and Thursdays for maintenance therapy and this will last for a year. My bone marrow numbers are now below 5% and I am waiting for the m-protein numbers to go to normal before they consider it a “remission”. The m-protein is going down progressively, which is a good sign. I should know more after the next biopsy in April.

January 12 – Back in Mexico with the family. Coming back to Utah at the end of the month for more testing and my first treatment for the annual therapy. Working on getting stronger.

December 22 – My counts (white cells, red cells, etc.) are on their way up, which means my body is now producing its own new cells. I am feeling pretty good (still a little weak) and am looking forward to resting and hanging out with the family for Christmas.

December 19 – Released from the hospital. Yeah! Time to see the kids and enjoy getting better with my family.

December 17 – Counts starting to come up. Will be released after I engraft and can go without fevers for 24 hours – maybe Saturday or Sunday.

December 16 – Fevers improving and less dramatic.

December 14 – Trip to hospital with fevers.

December 7 – Transplant day

December 6 – second round of chemo.

December 3 – Started chemo.

November 29 – Started testing to prep for the second transplant. Will start chemo later in the week if I get the go-ahead from the doctor.

November 3-27 Went home to see family in Mexico. Yeah!

October 28 – Getting stronger still. Will have a break until the end of November.

October 22 – The stem cell transplant went well. I have spent the past days getting stronger. I have been very careful and have (knock on wood) not caught the flu or even a cold. I can walk around the block and even started driving short distances. This is great progress. I will spend this week getting stronger – walks in the neighborhood and lifting 2 lb. weights, to start. Then, plenty of rest.

October 13 – Back at home now. I “engrafted” yesterday, which means my cell counts are coming up and the the new stem cells have started to grow. This is great news. My immune system will get stronger from here on out. I meet with the doctor next week to get a new plan about the next stage, which I think is a 2-month break in between transplants.

October 11 – No such luck staying out of the hospital. Came in the night of October 9th with a fever. At the same time, Megan was having surgery for a broken femur at Primary’s. Had fever cycles for the next 36 hrs. but they are being reduced. They say 50% of patients get fevers due to engraftment and the other 50% get fevers due to infections. It takes 3 days to find out which kind you have, so I will be here at least one more day. It could be more. My white counts are starting to come up, so that is a good sign. I have more energy and will take a walk up and down the hall today.

October 4 – Received stem cell transplant last Friday. White counts are down and I will be in relative isolation for the next 15 days.  Trying to stay away from infections and an in-patient visit to the hospital.

September 27 – Started transplant process. Get chemo today and Thursday and get the stem cell transplant on Friday. Likely to be feeling crummy for the next 2 weeks.

September 22 – Finished the pulmonary and heart test. Why does everyone have to poke me with a needle? May not start the transplant on Friday. It depends on how my lab work comes back on Friday morning.

September 21 – Consultation with my doctor. Pulmonary test and heart test tomorrow. Did not have a problem with the weight gain. Have gained 7 pounds. All it takes is eating out and eating bread, even with no extra junk food or sweets!

September 16 – Bone marrow biopsy. Ouch! Made it through better than last time with the magical “conscious sedation”. See recent post.

September 2-15 – Time to gain weight and exercise. Seeing a lot of friends. If I am not careful, Paul will think I really am sitting around eating bon bons! Getting ready for the upcoming tests on the 16th and another bone marrow biopsy. My transplant will begin on September 24th.

Wednesday, September 1 – More lab work and consultation with my doctor today.

Saturday, August 28 – Tuesday, August 31 – Don’t have to go in. Taking a break and feeling more alert with lots more energy.

Friday, August 27 – Final day of stem cell collection. It is amazing that I could finish in 2 days. Sometimes they say it takes up to 12 days of collection. Today I got 24.5 million stem cells! I guess I have enough to do about 5 transplants – not that I really want to go through 5 transplants, but maybe they are good for something else. They removed the Frankenstein port from my neck and I am very happy. Gave me platelets and blood. Tired after collection but happy I am through that step.

Thursday, August 26 – Stem cell collection today. They were thinking I would get 6 million stem cells, but I got 14 million! Score! It means I may have just one more day of collection. Got the extra shots again and got to take lovely potassium pills again. Went back to the U at night for the other shot.

Wednesday, August 25, Counts still too low. Hair loss day. See posts for details. Got an extra shot in the morning and went up to the U for a nightly shot.

Tuesday, August 24 – Counts still low.

Monday, August 23 – Low blood counts still. Got a Neulasta shot to stimulate for collection.

Sunday, August 22 – Low blood counts, but feeling better after the transfusion.

Saturday, August 21 – Low blood counts. Received a blood transfusion. Really bad day.

Friday, August 20 – Received a new port today for stem cell collection. My white blood cell counts are almost nothing today. Visitor Status: None today

August 8-14 – Started my treatment this week. It included a 4-day chemo backpack which was removed on Sunday.